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In the Andes Mountains we hear Thrax calling out to his troops telling them that the war is over, Phaeton has been defeated, that it is time for them to surrender and they will not be harmed. Able Squad is with him, and Bronski exclaims as though ready for a fight when the Neos come out, but the Neos walk into the open with arms in the air, surrendering. In Chicago, Phaeton's former capital, a Neo prisoner seems to expect execution, but is loaded onto a truck with fellow prisoners. At the Isle of Pines, a former Neo prison, Amanda Connors is freed as the Neo flag over the camp is lowered. Meanwhile at the Neos Easter Island complex troops come out to surrender.

Able Squad is returning to Manaus, Brazil with more prisoners. Thrax asks Marsh if he can speak to him privately. Thrax speaks of having been at Mercury, and the young Terran he flew against. He wonders if Marsh could find out his name and what became of him. Marsh tells him Kaz Takagi's name, and says he used to be in his squad. Thrax at first takes the past tense to mean Kaz was killed, but Marsh tells him that Kaz is now attending the ExoFleet Academy, where Avery Butler is now commandant.

At the academy, in front of a damaged building with broken windows, Butler explains to a group of cadets that while they have proven themselves as soldiers, it is his job to turn them into officers. He confronts Takagi, and asks him if he is anxious to be an officer. Kaz responds, "Not really, sir!" The other cadets start laughing, but a glare from Butler and they are back at attention. He then asks, "What're you doin' here Takagi?" He replies, "J.T. made me, uh, Commander Marsh made me sign up, sir. He said if I couldn't learn how to follow orders I might as well learn how to give 'em. I think he was joking sir." Butler simply growls in his face, "Officers never joke."

Back at their base in Brazil, apparently a docked ship, Torres is teasing Bronski about how he's going back to college to learn how to talk to Eve Hanley, and when Bronski tries to defend himself saying, "Hey, we talk," Marsh chips in saying, "Stomach growling doesn't count." Bronski asks, "Why's everybody pickin' on me? Let's talk about Kaz, he's not here." Maggie Weston says sadly, "Or Alec." The room suddenly gets quiet, and everyone looks sad. Maggie gets up and walks out of the room. "Now you did it Bronski," says Torres, and she reacts with disbelief when he asks, "Hey, what did I do?"

Marsh follows Weston outside. She is gazing at the night sky, and she tells him she used to love the moon, but that now it is just the place where Alec died. "It's still the moon," says Marsh. He tells her Nara Burns will be going back to Venus to rebuild there, and offers her a month leave if she wants to go along. She asks him what he's going to do, and when he says he doesn't know she offers, "Maybe you should join the jumptroops."

The next day they are again out with Thrax, trying to convince more Neos to give themselves up. But Thrax sees something odd, and approaches what used to be a Neo sapien, but is now a green statue. Thrax sadly recognizes it as Telemachus, and reports that he had apparently been genetically altered. Marsh instantly recognizes it as Ketzer's handiwork, and orders Thrax to get out of the area. But just then Able Squad comes under fire and they scatter in search of cover. Ketzer's band of genetically altered Terrans is in the trees, while he himself descends. Nara chases Ketzer while the rest of Able Squad fires at the trees. Marsh tries to retrieve Thrax, who battles hand to hand with a few of the altered. After dispatching two, he encounters an altered Medusa, who sends him to the ground covering his eyes with some sort of blast from her eyes. Marsh's approach and a few blasts nearby chase her off, however.

Shes a unfinished exsperement

Meanwhile Nara is being targeted from behind. A rocket that hits her squarely in the back sends her flying out of her shattered e-frame into a nearby pond, and she quickly exits the water. Ketzer is there waiting for her, claiming to know that she would return. He then blasts her and she hits the ground unconscious.

Protect

The battle continues, and Weston, Bronski, and Marsh regroup above the trees. Marsh asks about Nara. Just then Ketzer is ordering his troops to carry her carefully, as she is an unfinished experiment. As the go, Marsala uncloaks his e-frame and begins blasting. Nara is dropped, and Ketzer's band tries to fight but soon withdraws. Marsala carefully exits and picks up Nara.

A month later on Venus, Marsala and Nara land on the site of the Burns farm. She asks him to stay so she can show him around and share her plans. He tells her he must return to Earth, as the Homeworlds Senate is debating the future of the Neo sapien race. She asks, "Will you come back? When your work there is finished?" He replies, "The future is never finished." She starts, "Marsala... Marsala, I..." but he interjects, "I cannot be a part of your life, Nara Burns. You have roots here, like that tree. You will rebuild this farm, marry, raise a family. My future lies elsewhere. I will return to visit you, if I may. You, and your children." He walks off, enters his e-frame and takes off. Nara says quietly, "Good-bye, Marsala." and a tear begins to roll down her cheek. She reaches up with her left hand to wipe it away, but when she does her hand and eyes begins to glow and she is shocked, and perhaps even in some pain. She grabs hold of the aforementioned tree, about six feet tall and brown. The tree is then itself enveloped in the bright green glow, turns green and begins to quickly grow to at least five times its previous size. Nara falls to her knees, out of breath. She stands and looks at her hands, and can only wonder what's happening to her.

Marsala is addressing the Homeworlds Senate, and he claims that the problem for the Neo sapiens is a simple one. The problem is their inability to have children, and so they don't feel a part of the endless cycle of life. Because they have no ancestors they do not feel a connection to the past, and with no children the future is only darkness. Sean Napier, sitting behind Marsala along with Nick Tyree, is moved by his words. Marsala says, "Without tradition to guide us, without posterity to judge us, we live in a moral void as empty as space itself. We are desperate for something to give our lives purpose. That is what Phaeton offered us." To correct this, he says, Marsala proposes the creation of one last brood of Neos, and many in the chamber begin shouting against the idea. When Marsala mentions that this new brood should have the ability to procreate, the shouted objections by senators start to drown him out. He says that only then will they be truly human.

At Phaeton's bunker Professor Algernon is telling Weston that clones of all of Phaeton's generals and even Phaeton himself were discovered. The ExoFleet doesn't know what to do with them, because while they aren't about to unleash Phaeton again on the world, these haven't done anything wrong, and he wonders whether or not to kill them for good. Weston wonders why she was brought there, and Algernon directs that question to Galba. He tells her that while he worked for Praetorius he learned of the experiment that combined Neo sapien and Terran DNA, and Maggie remembers the apparent return of Alice Noretti. Galba tells Weston that he has recreated the experiment, but infused the clone with the memories stored in an e-frame black box. He shows her Alec DeLeon, and her look is of disbelief. Galba says that while his internal organs are Neo mega, everything that made him what he was is contained in his mind. He recognizes her, and they embrace.

In Monument Valley, a Neo internment facility, Napier is addressing a group of Neo sapiens, none of whom look happy, telling them that the Homeworlds Congress was about to outlaw the creation of any more Neo sapiens until Marsala made a speech "about what it means to be human." Now he says one last brood has been authorized. His speech is then interrupted by a Neo who shouts, "Remember Phaeton!" pulls out a gun, and fires at Napier. Marsala pushes him out of the way, but the would-be assassin approaches to point-blank range. Just then Shiva puts an end to the attempt on Napier's life, taking the gun away and tossing it to Napier and Marsala before he walks out.

In a different room later on, perhaps Shiva's cell, Napier thanks him. He says he believes it is time for reconciliation and to learn from the past, because if they don't work for the future together, none of them will have a future. Napier then offers to shake his hand. Shiva declines, saying the past cannot be forgotten, "But if you really mean what you said then someday I will be glad I saved your life." Shiva then sits down.

In Wyoming, J.T. lands his e-frame at a ranch, frightening some horses as he does. Admiral Winfield has apparently retired, and Marsh tells Winfield that he also plans to leave the ExoFleet soon. Marsh says, "I was never a military man, I just liked to fly." Winfield says he knows better than to try and change J.T.'s mind, and simply tells him he was the best soldier he ever commanded. Winfield then goes on to ask him to postpone his resignation for a short while. Winfield says that the Pirates are dismantling their base at Chaos, but because they do not absolutely trust each other they want an ExoFleet officer to divide what they hold in common, and they asked for Marsh.

Earth orbit one week later after the end of war

A week later Marsh arrives at a Pirate ship in Earth orbit, and as he comes aboard he meets up with Hallas. Because of his injuries he now uses an exoskeleton (which is hardly noticeable) to walk, but it operates just like an e-frame and he says he is doing just fine thanks to Marsh's training. Hallas tells him that Galba and Thrax will be along so that they can build a science station on Chaos, and that a platoon of jumptroops is also aboard. Hallas comments, "I believe you already know the Lieutenant in charge of the jumptroops," and Marsh turns to see Colleen O'Reilly.

Marsh and O'Reilly stand alone on an observation deck to watch their departure for Chaos. Marsh tells O'Reilly of his plans to leave the ExoFleet, and he inquires as to her plans. She says that ever since she was a little girl she wanted to go into space and see other worlds, and that despite all that has transpired she still feels that way. She wishes they had some way to get to the stars, and Marsh sadly observes, "I guess some things are always out of reach." He exits the room, not hearing her say "Come with me to the stars, J.T." She is surprised when she turns around and he is gone.

Remains of mars martian orbital plane

At what is apparently a GRAF station within the debris field of Mars, Algernon is talking with Weston and DeLeon. He asks, "Do you know what gravity is?" Weston replies with a laugh, "I thought you were the only one who knew that." "Quite right," says Algernon. "But I'm about to tell you. Gravity is the response that matter makes to the loneliness of space. It's love, you see, the love that moves the stars. Phaeton thought that destroying an entire planet would be the ultimate expression of power, that was his lack of imagination. The ultimate power is the power of creation." As Algernon makes this moving speech the GRAF dome glows and shoots out its energy tendrils. The GRAvitational Focus effect pulls together all the debris from the destruction of Mars, reforming the planet, complete with geologic features and the results of terraforming efforts.

Gravitational pull device

Back at the planet Chaos, Longfeather is moving some equipment. Vince Pelligrino, seated on one of a group of boxes, says, "Now why don't you give it a rest, Sarge? We're military police, not a labor detachment." From across the room O'Reilly shouts, "Pelligrino! Get your butt off it and your back into it!" Pelligrino jumps down and goes to help Longfeather.

Jt hit by a beem on light to top him from have any contral og his e-frame

Just then Marsh receives a message from a frantic Hallas. He is able to say that something unidentified has been picked up on sensors, but his transmission is then cut off. Marsh jumps into his e-frame, not responding to O'Reilly's call asking where he is going. He takes off, and once outside sees what looks like an orange-red comet, which Hallas tells him appeared out of nowhere. Marsh tries to chase after it, but when Galba tells him it is accelerating, Marsh notes that he is already at top speed so he tries to lock his weapons on it. When he does an orange beam shoots from the object, knocking Marsh back and perhaps short-circuiting his e-frame. But the object is simply too fast, and it begins orbiting the planet Chaos at the incredible rate of once every second, and it is still accelerating. Because of the object's tail it soon appears as though there is an orange ring around the planet, at which point what looks like pink electricity cackles from the ring to the planet. The object then moves into a tighter orbit, but as it does the planet shrinks. Within a matter of seconds Chaos has apparently vanished into nothingness. The object then seems to come and face Marsh, who is stunned, saying, "What did you do with it... an entire planet?"

Circling the plant

The object then flies into a ship that has just appeared into view. The ship resembles a whale, in that it looks as though it has eyes and a mouth in front and gets smaller toward the rear of the ship, though there are what look like fins in the back. But on the ship's underside there are sections that look like a typical compartmentalized spaceship. Although the ship is primarily blue there are also pink tentacles hanging from the front, and these are probably as long as the ship itself. The entire ship is engulfed in a orange glow. Marsh can only watch as it, and three others like it, head toward the inner solar system.

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